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Volunteering Promote Goodness – A strategic EVS project focused on emphazising non-formal learning and raising the awareness about EVS and its values.

The wish to carry out this project was due to the fact, that there is a favourable environment in Europe that makes this not only possible but also desirable as shown by the fact that a growing number of stakeholders from various sectors intends to take advantage of the potential of NFL (non-formal learning). But there are still many people, who don´t know that EVS is good method for using formal and non-formal education and they are not aware of value of EVS and opportunity to participate in it.

This is not only emphasised by the growing attention of youth-targeting programmes (such as YiA and now E+) but also by our own experience. During a needs assessment exercise with returnee volunteers we identified a whole set of skills that their experience brought about. In particular: Global awareness; Adaptability; Interpersonal skills; Delegation capacity; Stress management; Self-confidence; Problem solving; Self-learning capacity; Strategic thinking etc.

In spite of this, links between youth organisations and other actors (i.e. government structures and labour market forces) are still scarce. This is possibly due to the lack of mechanisms to acknowledge and take advantage of inter-sectorial synergies and has emerged as a priority of our partners in the course of our growing collaborations.

Therefore, there was this wish to create an inspiring international environment for Estonia people in order to promote purposeful participation in lifelong learning and contribution to a community on the way of personal development in the global world.

EstYES was targeting the following strategic aims and objectives during the project:

  • To raise an awareness of value of EVS and opportunity to participate in it in Estonia county through increasing number of organisations working with EVS;
  • to raise an awareness of value of EVS and opportunity to participate in it amongst the organisations and youth;
  • to raise an awareness of European Solidarity Corps;
  • to increase the number of EVS accredited organisations and sending Estonia youth to EVS
  • To increase a capacity of EstYES NGO to coordinate, receive and send EVS volunteers
  • to create a systematic and structured new approach to service delivery in order to optimize work with all parties – volunteers, ROs, SOs, supervisors, mentors – involved into EVS;
  • to improve our competence of preparation and supporting EVS volunteers with fewer opportunities during the service with the help of supervision;
  • To create prerequisites for social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities into EVS
  • to strengthen partnership with international organisations working with young people with fewer opportunities.

Our volunteers within this project did a great job with the promotion and raising awareness of the programmes. They shared their culture and information in the youth centres, education fairs and events, schools and kindergartens, among the parents and teachers. EstYES was also meeting with their partners to develop their collaboration and made agreements with new interested organisations. Collaboration was made with a few organisations who are supporting the youngsters with fewer opportunities.

The project is funded by the Archimedes Foundation Youth Agency from the Erasmus + program.

Hripsime initiative project

Hripsime initiative project

10.06.2017. It was a beautiful sunny day in a little village near to Tartu named Koosa. People came together to celebrate the village’s 435th birthday.

Me, Hrispime, an EVS volunteer from Armenia made a little presentation about my country. I am doing my EVS European Voluntary Service, which is a part of an Erasmus+ programme, in Estonia for almost 10 months. With a support of EstYES (MTÜ Noortevahetuse Arengu Ühing EstYES) I made a little project to represent my culture to the event visitors. What is the best way to explore the new culture? Of course, through national food. So, people had a chance to try Gata Armenian national sweet bread, which brings luck 🙂 and Dolma, traditional Armenian dish of minced meat wrapped by grape leaves.

We had a very interesting conversation about Armenia and what kind of food and traditions we have in my country. Village people tried to use Armenian letters with my help and we had a really good time. It was an hour full of new knowledge and experience.

Finally people from Koosa managed to try some dishes from Armenian cuisine and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed sharing all of it with them. Special thanks to them who made it happen!

Hripsime Kizogyan stays in Estonia for 12 months within the project ”Broadening Horizons II” which is funded by Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.

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